HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Another misleading media ...

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 09:34 AM

Another misleading media report implies that warrantless wiretapping is legal.

Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure

The entire article is framed to create the impression that warrantless wiretapping is legal, and that Obama approves of it.

The article mentions the Protect America Act, quotes Obama opposing it, and then creates the impression he embraced it when he became President.

From the article:

The Bush administration shut down its warrantless wiretapping program in 2007 but endorsed a new law, the Protect America Act, which allowed the wiretapping to continue with changes: The NSA generally would have to explain its techniques and targets to a secret court in Washington, but individual warrants would not be required.

Congress approved it, with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the midst of a campaign for president, voting against it.

"This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide," Obama said in a speech two days before that vote. "I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom."


Years after decrying Bush for it, Obama said Americans did have to make tough choices in the name of safety.

There have been a number of media reports using the same Obama quote to basically claim that he once called out Bush, but then embraced the policy. They are intentionally conflating a quote about the PAA with his position on the 2008 FISA amendments, which he voted for. They are not the same thing. The PAA was a Republican effort to absolve Bush.

While the article mentions that Obama voted against the Protect America Act (http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00309), there is no mention of the fact that the Act expired in early 2008.

Senator Mitch McConnell introduced the act on August 1, 2007, during the 110th United States Congress. On August 3, it was passed in the Senate with an amendment, 60–28 (record vote number 309).[12] On August 4, it passed the House of Representatives 227-183 (roll number 836).[12] On August 5, it was signed by President Bush, becoming Public Law No. 110-055. On February 17, 2008, it expired due to sunset provision.


The amendments to FISA made by the Act expire 180 days after enactment, except that any order in effect on the date of enactment remains in effect until the date of expiration of such order and such orders can be reauthorized by the FISA Court.”[38] The Act expired on February 17, 2008.


Here's Bush's statement at the time: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/02/20080214-4.html

It's illegal to collect this information on Americans.

Here is information on the FISA law including the 2008 amendments.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008

Specifically, the Act:[19]

  • Prohibits the individual states from investigating, sanctioning of, or requiring disclosure by complicit telecoms or other persons.

  • Permits the government not to keep records of searches, and destroy existing records (it requires them to keep the records for a period of 10 years).

  • Protects telecommunications companies from lawsuits for "'past or future cooperation' with federal law enforcement authorities and will assist the intelligence community in determining the plans of terrorists". Immunity is given by a certification process, which can be overturned by a court on specific grounds.[20]

  • Removes requirements for detailed descriptions of the nature of information or property targeted by the surveillance if the target is reasonably believed to be outside the country.[20]

  • Increased the time for warrantless surveillance from 48 hours to 7 days, if the FISA court is notified and receives an application, specific officials sign the emergency notification, and relates to an American located outside of the United States with probable cause they are an agent of a foreign power. After 7 days, if the court denies or does not review the application, the information obtained cannot be offered as evidence. If the United States Attorney General believes the information shows threat of death or bodily harm, they can try to offer the information as evidence in future proceedings.[21]

  • Permits the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to jointly authorize warrantless electronic surveillance, for one-year periods, targeted at a foreigner who is abroad. This provision will sunset on December 31, 2012.

  • Requires FISA court permission to target wiretaps at Americans who are overseas.

  • Requires government agencies to cease warranted surveillance of a targeted American who is abroad if said person enters the United States. (However, said surveillance may resume if it is reasonably believed that the person has left the States.)

  • Prohibits targeting a foreigner to eavesdrop on an American's calls or e-mails without court approval. [22]

  • Allows the FISA court 30 days to review existing but expiring surveillance orders before renewing them.

  • Allows eavesdropping in emergencies without court approval, provided the government files required papers within a week.

  • Prohibits the government from invoking war powers or other authorities to supersede surveillance rules in the future.

  • Requires the Inspectors General of all intelligence agencies involved in the President's Surveillance Program to "complete a comprehensive review" and report within one year

  • The provisions of the Act granting immunity to the complicit telecoms create a roadblock for a number of lawsuits intended to expose and thwart the alleged abuses of power and illegal activities of the federal government since and before the September 11 attacks.[citation needed]

  • Allows the government to conduct surveillance of "a U.S. person located outside of the U.S. with probable cause they are an agent of a foreign power" for up to one week (168 hours) without a warrant, increased from the previous 48 hours, as long as the FISA court is notified at the time such surveillance begins, and an application as usually required for surveillance authorization is submitted by the government to FISA within those 168 hours[21]

9 replies, 1755 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Another misleading media report implies that warrantless wiretapping is legal. (Original post)
ProSense Jun 2013 OP
ProSense Jun 2013 #1
ProSense Jun 2013 #2
Cha Jun 2013 #3
ProSense Jun 2013 #4
ProSense Jun 2013 #5
Cha Jun 2013 #6
ProSense Jun 2013 #7
Scurrilous Jun 2013 #8
ProSense Jun 2013 #9

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 10:05 AM

1. Kick! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:11 PM

2. Another. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:37 PM

3. Hey, thanks, ProSense!

leaker Snowden is a coward.. but China seems to like that about him.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Cha (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:02 PM

4. Interesting. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Cha (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:17 PM

5. Here's another:

STELLARWIND was succeeded by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications, according to the interviews and documents.


Two of the four collection programs, one each for telephony and the Internet, process trillions of “metadata” records for storage and analysis in systems called MAINWAY and MARINA, respectively. Metadata includes highly revealing information about the times, places, devices and participants in electronic communication, but not its contents. The bulk collection of telephone call records from Verizon Business Services, disclosed this month by the British newspaper the Guardian, is one source of raw intelligence for MAINWAY.

The other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called ­NUCLEON.

For Internet content, the most important source collection is the PRISM project reported on June 6 by The Washington Post and the Guardian. It draws from data held by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley giants, collectively the richest depositories of personal information in history.

- more -


The media are becoming more and more clever in their attempts to conflate Bush's illegal wiretapping with Obama's policies.

Stellar Wind was part of Bush's illegal wiretapping program.

The program was in fact a wide range of covert surveillance activities authorized by President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. At that time, White House officials, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, had become convinced that FISA court procedures were too cumbersome and time-consuming to permit U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to quickly identify possible Qaeda terrorists inside the country. (Cheney's chief counsel, David Addington, referred to the FISA court in one meeting as that "obnoxious court," according to former assistant attorney general Jack Goldsmith.) Under a series of secret orders, Bush authorized the NSA for the first time to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails between the United States and a foreign country without any court review. The code name for the NSA collection activities—unknown to all but a tiny number of officials at the White House and in the U.S. intelligence community—was "Stellar Wind."


No charges for man who leaked surveillance program

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has dropped its investigation into a former department attorney who tipped off the media about the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program.

The department informed Thomas Tamm’s attorneys that he will not be prosecuted for the leak that then-President George W. Bush called a breach of national security.

Tamm has said he called The New York Times about the program because it “didn’t smell right” and he thought the public had a right to know.

The Times won the Pulitzer Prize for its 2005 story exposing the program designed to catch terrorists by eavesdropping on international phone calls and emails of U.S. residents without court warrants.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to ProSense (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:30 PM

6. I have to go now..

kicking this to read when I return.

thanks ProSense.. I think many of us know what the media's agenda is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Cha (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 07:39 PM

7. Thanks. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 12:31 PM

8. K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:11 PM

9. Kick! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread